DropCam is a company that was recently bought by Google’s Nest Labs. DropCam provides live streaming video surveillance accessible through the web or your smart phone. While DropCam is a great way to record footage, it is not a sufficient way to safeguard your home and family in the event of a burglary. It is minimal and cheap, offering limited security qualities.

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What’s Missing?

DropCam currently offers two video monitoring camera models, the DropCam and the DropCam Pro. Both models offer two-way audio, night vision, motion, and sound detection. DropCam recently announced DropCam Tabs, a wireless movement sensor allowing you to track actions like doors opening and closing. While DropCam Tabs is a great step in the direction of home security, DropCam lacks most of the features traditional security systems provide, including:

Wouldn’t you prefer your security system preventing a burglary rather than interrupting one? Monitoring doors and windows with glass break sensors and additional equipment can give you the advantage of knowing and acting before someone steps foot in your home.

Is Big Brother Watching You?

Google made the announcement that Nest had agreed to buy DropCam, resulting in an extension of the search company’s control over the home environment. However, this has also increased fears regarding privacy concerns and access to personal information. Has the NSA Prism scandal damaged our confidence in technology companies?

According to Scott Cleland, president of research consulting firm Precursor, Google’s $555 million purchase of DropCam “fits into Google’s plans for a new ubiquitous physical surveillance network that will complement and leverage its existing virtual surveillance network.” Cleland says Google’s purchase of DropCam “fills a big missing part of Google’s vision — literally to see, hear and track everything — in order to fulfill Google’s mission ‘to organize the world’s information.'” Whether you buy into this or not, the thought of someone accessing your video feed is unsettling at the very least.

How Secure is it?

It is important to remember DropCam is a self-monitored device that relies on wireless Internet. Storage options range from $100-$300 a year. Without paying for some type of video storage, the only option you have with DropCam is to watch the live feed. Unless you are able to spot a burglar entering your home at the exact moment of intrusion, the device is probably better as a baby monitor than a home security system. This individual shares his experience with DropCam in the event of an emergency:

I had one of those DropCams, but then I went camping and I had no service to check in on my home. By the time I got Internet on my phone again, I had a recorded video of people entering my home. Unfortunately we got robbed. DropCam is an awesome idea until you actually have an emergency.

Another unhappy customer wrote this review:

DropCam is a joke. It literally only works when it can connect to the DropCam website, and everything seems to be tied to the DropCam service. From a data freedom perspective, this is awful. When Dropcam goes out of business, as I vaguely hope they do so they’ll stop hurting people, every DropCam simply dies. A DropCam without Dropcam.com is a useless chunk of plastic and metal.

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Monitored versus Unmonitored

Having a professionally monitored system provides a much higher level of security. Only monitored systems come with 24-hour surveillance by a professional security team. With unmonitored systems, you’re largely on your own as far as responding to an intrusion. If your home is burglarized, the police will not be notified unless you call them directly. Instead of placing the burden of this responsibility on yourself, simplify your life by using a professionally monitored home security system from Protect America.

DropCam only provides a one-year warranty for its products. Considering the $199 cost of the camera itself plus the additional $99-$299 fees in cloud storage, DropCam isn’t as affordable as it may seem. Consider choosing a home security company that’s invested in your long-term safety. At Protect America, you are provided with free equipment and a lifetime warranty. Protect America delivers the reliability of a professional monitoring while still maintaining the simplicity and affordability of a DIY security system.